When I was a young athlete, I won an award for sinking the most free throws at summer basketball camp. Whenever my brother or his friends teased me about playing like a girl, I reminded them about my free throw medal. After all, it was awarded by the high school basketball coach—a credible judge of athletic prowess! They had nothing more to say after that.
My argument against their teasing wouldn’t have been enough if I had simply made the most free throws; it was the fact that I had been awarded for my accomplishment that made all the difference. Why did winning that award hold such power? Because awards are an undeniable source of third-party credibility. They offer the kind of believability you cannot fabricate on your own (or brag about with authority).
Just like little girls with big brothers, enterprises, brands and products also benefit from the power of awards and the potency of having been judged a winner. There are many reasons to pursue award opportunities and invest the time to create a nomination, but here are the top three:
- As noted above: Third-party affirmation is always more valuable for touting your greatness than trying to do it yourself.
- It makes your employees proud to work at your esteemed organization. Some of the best influencers of public opinion can be your staff as they are every bit as present on social media, in networking circles and in customer service arenas as your customers are. Staffers can be an excellent source of raving fandom, you just need to give them a reason to rave.
- The award nomination process forces you to define, often with corresponding metrics, the success of your company’s work, a specific initiative or the competence of individual employees. Even if you don’t win the award, just by responding to the nomination requirements, you will have created an account of an award-winning initiative that provides the sales team with a story to tell, your PR team with news to pitch to the media, and your marketing team a narrative to share in its collateral.
So let’s get cracking on finding the most relevant awards for your company, project or product. Awards are sponsored by publications in your target markets, industry events, associations and professional organizations and by companies with whom you are partnering. There are awards that charge a fee to nominate and others that don’t cost a dime.
Whatever the type of award or sponsoring organization, the mandate is clear: You must submit a properly-crafted submission that proves you are worthy of winning. That’s where we can help. Don’t let 2018 pass you by without pursuing an award win—and you can tell your big brother all about it at the next family get-together.